Goodbye, BBB. Hello, BBM.
The Marcos administration is expanding the flagship infrastructure program of its predecessor, but it will now be called BBM or Build, Better, More from its previous iteration of BBB or Build, Build, Build.
“We shall confidently build on this firm foundation established by my predecessor. As it is in building an edifice, we must keep the momentum and aspire to Build Better More,” the President said in a recent Cabinet meeting.
Under the proposed 2023 budget, the government is seeking P1.196 trillion for the priority infrastructure programs of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who goes by the initials BBM.
The amount is equivalent to 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, the BBB flagship infrastructure program covered a total of 112 big-ticket projects.
Some 94 projects worth P4.5 trillion, however, were passed on to the Marcos administration.
Mr. Marcos vowed to “not suspend” any ongoing projects that have already “been shown to be of benefit to the public that they serve.”
The President said he intends to implement several railway projects during his administration, including the North-South Commuter Railway System, the Metro Manila Subway Project, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 7, and the Common Station.
He also intends to build railway systems beyond the National Capital Region, including the Mindanao Railway Project, the Panay Railway Project, and the Cebu Railway System.
The Department of Public Works and Highways is poised to get P718.4 billion next year, the second biggest allocation in the budget.
The Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at seguridad (TIKAS) program, a partnership of the DPWH and the Department of National Defense (DND), will be allocated P6.2 billion to help improve facilities that will help enhance the capability and readiness of the military and police.
Some P16.8 billion will go to the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program to improve roads and bridges leading to tourist destinations.